ETIAS - Traveling to Austria
U.S. citizens can travel to Austria using an ETIAS visa waiver
Country of Austria
- Euro (€)
- UTC+1 (Central European Time)
Emergency Austria Telephone Numbers
- 122 and Mountain Rescue 140
112 (112 is the equivalent to 911 in the US)
A member of the Schengen Agreement since 1995, Austria is a travel destination adored for its historic ornate Baroque architecture and its imperial roots. This small country is home to less than 9 million residents yet hosts 20 million international visitors each year. Countless castles and palaces speak to its opulent past; and its majestic alpine backdrop speaks of its charming, earthy present. A country steeped in elegant history, Austria is perhaps most recognized for its gilded capitol, Vienna, perched on the banks of the River Danube. Vienna is home to the Vienna Boys Choir and is the city associated with classical luminaries including Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss, as well as its eponymous dance, the Viennese Waltz. Visa Waiver Program travelers delight in Austria’s exquisite culinary culture and a proper introduction to Austria must include mention of its excellent dining and drinking scene. Of the Schengen area countries, Austria is a perennial favorite for travel during all four seasons. Its people are welcoming and warm and are eager to enjoy the pleasures of life.
With approval of ETIAS, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, you can plan for cross country explorations from opulent Vienna to the Austrian Alps. With a per trip 90-day limit, you can explore the countryside and gilded cities at your leisure.
Primary languages: German (Bavarian dialect), Croatian, Hungarian, Slovenian. English is spoken in tourist areas.
Where to Go
Travelers with the ETIAS Visa Waiver are drawn Austria’s handsome cities, especially Vienna and Salzburg. Of the more than two dozen Schengen area countries, Austria is a perennial favorite for travel year ‘round and its graceful cities offer something for everyone.
Vienna, Austria’s capitol city, is a gorgeous contrast of imperial history and sleek modern architecture. Grand hotels, garden cottages, and nearby ski chalets offer travelers distinctly unique accommodation choices. Steeped in its Habsburg heritage, the city is rich with artifacts of its aristocratic history. Museums, churches, and other landmarks are plentiful; visitors can even tour the Hofburg Treasury filled with the Habsburg family’s collection of jewels and crowns. Other city treasures to behold include the classical majesty of Vienna State Opera, St. Stephen's Cathedral, and the white Lipizzaner stallions at the Spanish Riding School. The dining scene in Vienna ranges from cozy coffeehouse to Michelin Star rated high cuisine. In warm weather diners can linger over Viennese pastry with the River Danube as a backdrop and with stars overhead. Indeed, the slow pace is part of the luxury this magnificent city is known for. To enjoy classic Vienna, visitors can savor world-class Wiener Schnitzel or indulge in rich Austrian coffee with sweet Apfelstrudel for dessert. The chocolatiers are wonderful, and the wine gardens of the city offer delicious indulgence including the entertainment of strolling minstrels. Vienna is a delightfully walkable city filled with centuries-old architecture, magnificent gardens and oodles of arts and culture.
Don’t Miss: The Spanish Riding School, home of the elegant white Lipizzaner Stallions. With a history of more than 440 years of classical equitation its performances known as “The Ballet of White Stallions” are sure to dazzle.
Salzburg, the “City of Mozart,” tucked into the foothills of the Alps, is divided into the pedestrian “old city,” Altstadt, and 19th century “new city,” Neustadt, by the River Salzach. Baroque architecture abounds and the city is dominated by palaces, churches, and castles. Hohensalzburg Castle, a handsome fortress looking over Salzburg, with its approach marked by imposing arched defense gateways, is the largest fully preserved castle in Central Europe. St. Peter’s Abbey, Salzburg Cathedral, Hellbrun Palace and Fountains, and graceful Mirabelle Palace and Gardens offer visitors a glimpse of ancient architecture and history. Home to Mozart's Geburtshaus (birthplace), now a museum, the city offers countless concerts and performance of the music of Mozart. Salzburg is tucked along the winding banks of the River Salzach, quite close to the northern boundary of the Alps. The river divides the city and a dozen bridges offering crossing, though none is more beloved than the Makartsteg Footbridge. A tradition dating back almost a century has lovers placing “Love Locks” carved with their initials on the bridge and casting the key into the watery river depths to signify their eternal love. Cruises for dinner and sunset along the river may be the loveliest way to experience this fair city.
The Mountains & Lakes
Austria’s dramatic mountains are oft synonymous with the alpine lakes that rest between them. The cozy town of Hallstatt’s lakeside setting is made romantic by the crowds of swans that grace its peaceful crystal waters, disturbed only by the waterfall whipping energetically through the center of the lake. It is considered one of the most postcard-perfect towns in Europe. Rife with impressive Baroque architecture, Hallstatt has a darling Old Town to explore with charming lakeside boutiques and cafés. Nestled into a mountainside the town is a draw for carefree meandering, authentic village dining and time spent on the water, paddling, fishing, touring. Along the pristine River Traun, a tributary of the Danube River, lie fairytale villages, majestic mountains, and more lakes, including Hallstätter See and Traunsee. Beloved by travelers the Salzkammergut region is a resort area extending from Salzburg east past the Northern Limestone Alps to the snow-capped mountaintops of the Dachstein Mountains.
The Austrian Alps are known for alpine skiing, but the region offers activities for all seasons. The Tyrol region boasts more charming villages per square mile than perhaps anywhere in Europe. Innsbruck is a mountain paradise for skiers and for those who prefer après ski and off-mountain activities. Museums, shopping and dining, and strolling Old Town top the list. Close by, take a cable car up to the Nordkette Mountains for breathtaking views of the alpine beauty. Summer brings hiking in alpine meadows or biking steep verdant trails, rock climbing, swimming in the fresh bracing water of countless mountain lakes, lazy picnics along their banks, summer spas, and outdoor concerts. Resorts offer summer specials, so it is both a delightful and affordable time to explore these famous mountains.
Don’t miss: The thermal baths at the hot springs of the Ötztal Valley. Spas― Aqua Dome in Laengenfeld, the Hot Springs of Grins, and Aigner Bath are a few to consider for spa decadence.
Austria borders eight European countries: Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Italy. Austria joined the Schengen Zone in 2008. Each of the eight countries bordering Austria are Schengen Area countries and will require ETIAS approval for the Visa Waiver Program beginning in 2021.